Australia: The world’s first continent-wide suite of mineral maps has been developed by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) scientists. The mineral maps show information about rock and soil mineral components and provide a Google-like zoom, to view images from thousands of kilometres wide to just a few kilometres. The maps provide a more accurate and detailed information of mineral deposits.
The maps were generated from a ten-year archive of raw Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER) data collected by NASA and the Japanese Government’s Japan Space Systems. Data access and software development was coordinated by CSIRO through the Western Australian Centre of Excellence for 3D Mineral Mapping.
The maps were officially launched by CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Megan Clark and Geoscience Australia CEO, Dr Chris Pigram at the 34th International Geological Congress in Brisbane.
Following the launch, Professor Yasushi Yamaguchi, head of the Japanese ASTER science team said, “Congratulations on your successful launch of the ASTER geoscience maps of Australia. It is a very good example of the ASTER contribution to the geoscience community and I am very proud of being an ASTER science team member”.
Dr Mike Abrams from NASA and head of the US ASTER science team added, “Congratulations on an impressive project. I do like your idea of producing global geoscience maps, similar to what you have created for Australia”.